The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has announced that more than four million U.S. households have enrolled in its emergency relief program aimed at providing temporary discounts on internet bills during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Under an Order issued by the FCC in May, the Emergency Broadband Benefit Program provides qualified consumers discounts of up to $50 per month on their broadband services, as well as a one-time $100 discount on the purchase of a laptop, desktop, or tablet computer from participating providers. The program is being funded by a $3.2 billion allocation initiated by the U.S. Congress earlier this year.
In a press release, FCC Acting Chair Jessica Rosenworcel hailed the enrollment of more than four million households in the program in less than three months as “terrific progress.” “But,” Rosenworcel added, “the FCC remains committed to building on this initial momentum so we can connect as many families as possible and help those struggling to get online.”
The FCC has engaged in an extensive outreach program to increase awareness about the Program, enlisting over 25,000 community groups and local partners to host localized events to discuss the Program specifics and its benefits.